Policy Review What to do with Necturna in SwSh

Jho

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As many of you know, Sword and Shield has cut a lot of Pokemon and moves from the game completely, making them unusable in the game. This proves annoying for us as we have to retcon and update Pokemon movepools to accurately reflect the state of the game as after all, our goal is to make the CAPs as accurate to something real as possible. For most CAPs this ranges from a minor annoyance to a major overhaul but none are affected as much as Necturna.

With Smeargle no longer in the game, Sketch has been cut and was found to be completely unusable in SwSh, instead, it is greyed out and unclickable as shown in this screenshot found by Anubis in this post. Necturna is already a special case within CAP as due to the generational changes to egg moves in Gen 7, we had to create a clause to make sure Necturna could only use Sketch once. We kept it this way because being able to use Sketch once is the entire "gimmick" behind Necturna and with the changes brought by Sword and Shield, it stands to completely lose this. This puts Necturna in an awkward spot, especially as it is currently useable on PS! whilst not conforming to the mechanics of the generation.

So far I have heard a few possibilities of what we can do with Necturna which are;
- Create a Sketch-like custom move, which can only be used once. This eliminates the need for the Necturna Clause and keeps Necturna functionally the same as it was in previous generations. The downside to this is the addition of another custom element, which is something we have avoided for a long time now and for good reason. Adding a custom element sets a precedent that we are willing to do so.
- Remove Sketch from Necturna's movepool and compensate it with other options. This option keeps Necturna in line with the SwSh mechanics and we can balance the movepool as needed. The obvious huge downside to this is that its identity is completely lost.
- Remove Sketch from Necturna but otherwise leave it as is.
- Keep Sketch despite the generational changes.

If there are any other possibilities you might have thought of please do share them, along with your opinions on what should happen to Necturna in the generational updates. It is important we iron out what we want to happen before Necturna's update starts.
 
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Just going to make a quick post now and will eloborate later.

I still believe treating Necturna like other snapped pokemon and benching it for the generation might be the best option. It avoids adding custom elements and preserves Necturna's concept.

Sketch was found in the game files but broken. That means there is the potential for it to return at a later date.
 
Maybe rather than snapping Necturna to the bench, I would suggest give that CAP events for prominent moves it tends to use, such as Shell Smash, V-Create, and whatever else people run on it. They should not be on the same set, though.

On nyttyn's behalf: "I am proposing that we live in a timeline where gamefreak has an arbitrarily large (equal to # of moves in game) number of events to give out Necturna which each know one (1) move it naturally could not learn as as a promotional gimmick. Through Pokepass probably because they love Pokepass."
 
I honestly feel a custom move is the most efficient solution that maintains Necturna’s competitive niche and identity. While we haven’t done one in a long time, and it isn’t exactly ideal, we really don’t have much of a choice. The issue with Mova’s solution is who would determine what moves Necturna could get through events. Furthermore, this doesn’t account for any Gen 8 moves either. We don’t know what will be viable this generation, especially if Dynamax sticks around. The issue with nyttyn’s idea is that the optics would be completely disastrous to have an event for every single move in the game. No Pokémon has that many events and I doubt any ever will. It also just seems impractical in general. Leaving Necturna with what it has seems like a bad idea, as it’ll not only be unviable most likely, but it loses its identity, something CAP tries to avoid at all costs. Expanding its movepool instead has similar issues in that it loses its niche (albeit less so with new moves added) and identity. As such, a custom move feels like the only real option.
 

jas61292

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Personally, I think the best solution here is to just treat it the same way the actual games do. Now, how exactly that works will depends on transferring mechanics, but assuming they work like in the past (which is how I'm betting they will), then once transfers are available, Necturna will have access to any sketchable move available in the game except for new ones introduced in gen 8. That may be a bit weird and potentially confusing, but it (presumably) is based on actual in game mechanics, and doesn't require anything new to be created.

I'm especially against creating a new move to facilitate Necturna being like it was before. We have a policy against creating that kind of stuff anymore, and it would look especially bad if we do it and then also go through with anything from that other PR thread about removing custom mechanics.

Now, of course, if the mechanics of transfers don't work like I'm assuming, then this may not work out. If that's the case, so be it. Necturna will just lose sketch. I don't think it would be worth trying to save it. It will always have its concept documented here in CAP, but I don't think we should go to any special lengths to try and keep it relevant. Crucibelle is also losing what made it special. I don't know if there have been any calls to save it, but I know I'd be against trying to shoehorn in a mega in a meta where they don't exist. The game changes over time, and while it is sad to see sometimes, I think we have to just accept it. Other CAPs have fallen from grace. No need for this to be a special case.

Besides, Necturna is already better than it would have been without sketch back when it was created. The change to the type chart that let Ghost hit steel neutral starting in gen 6 did a hell of a lot of good for it. It may not be what it used to be, but compared to certain other older CAPs, I think it will be fine.
 

MrDollSteak

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To echo consensus I'm not a fan of custom Sketch considering we are also discussing the removal of other custom elements of existing CAPs. I think it just sends a mixed signal.

If Necturna existed in a game I think a possible mechanic which is something similar to Mova's suggestion, rather than events however, would be a special move tutor for Necturna only who could teach any move in the game, but only once. This would work in a similar way to the Keldeo Resolute and Meloetta move tutors, whereby it wouldn't work for any other Pokemon.

This would also solve Necturna clause because the relearnt move would be the taught one. As for how this would look in terms of move pools and Pokemon Showdown, probably not very elegant. Shorthand in terms of threads "Any move not previously listed x1" could do the trick but may still be confusing. Food for thought anyway.
 

DougJustDoug

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I'm in the same camp as jas61292. I know it sucks for Necturna to have a possibility of losing the move that was the basis for its entire concept. But I don't think we should add Sketch back into the game (as a custom move or otherwise), if GameFreak really has killed it for this generation. It's a gray area for CAP, and I can think of some compelling reasons to do it. But in the end, I think we should just accept whatever happens in the real game. If that causes Necturna to become CAP NU or worse, so be it. We have had many CAPs get screwed in generation shifts (Voodoom says hi to Fairy typing), and this is just another example of that. Crucibelle is in the exact same boat, in that the entire concept of its creation was removed in SwSh.

Generation 8 looks like it will probably be the most disruptive generation shift in the history of Pokemon because of all the things removed and altered. There are a variety of threads floating around about what to do about it, and I will be raising some stuff with the CAP mods to see how we, as a project, can deal with this in an orderly way, rather than making PR threads for all the different areas of concern. I think there are just too many things that are real concerns, for us to handle this in a somewhat haphazard way.
 
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I really think we should simplify this small crisis we have. The answer to this question seems at least to me to be very simple when we define what exactly this generation is. See we've got a time crunch, check, a split team to make their second game, check, we've got 400 missing Pokemon and generational staples like hidden power and pursuit gone, check. Seems like a lost generation to me. Now to solve this issue, just look at the timeline for pokemon production: we know that a games gonna come out in november of 2020, and we know its gonna be the DPP remakes. They follow this same schedule every year. Now what that tells me is, we shouldn't waste our time remaking something that's gonna be fixed in a year, especially with all the other fixes we have to do. CAP has a big list of things to tackle at the beginning of every generation, and personally I dont think we should spend time abandoning a concept and reworking a pokemon when we all know smeargle is gonna be in the game in a year. In my opinion, we should just keep our pokemon the way it is, since we spent a good bit of last gen trying to get it to a workable form.
 

jas61292

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Now to solve this issue, just look at the timeline for pokemon production: we know that a games gonna come out in november of 2020, and we know its gonna be the DPP remakes. They follow this same schedule every year.
Not to be overly snarky, but we know this just about as much as we "knew" that Grey version was coming in 2011 or 2012. And how we all "knew" that we were going to be getting Pokemon Z in 2014 or 2015. And of course, how we "knew" Ruby and Sapphire remakes were coming a full generation before they actually did.

Hell, the very reason that this and other threads are currently scrambling is because what we "knew" would happen this gen was wrong. The idea that we should pretend nothing happened because we "know" what is going to happen is ignorant of both the past and present.

That's not to say that any given solution is wrong. If we end up deciding to keep Necturna as it has been, then so be it. But what we decide should be based on the facts, not a theory which is as likely to be wrong as not.
 
Not to be overly snarky, but we know this just about as much as we "knew" that Grey version was coming in 2011 or 2012. And how we all "knew" that we were going to be getting Pokemon Z in 2014 or 2015. And of course, how we "knew" Ruby and Sapphire remakes were coming a full generation before they actually did.

Hell, the very reason that this and other threads are currently scrambling is because what we "knew" would happen this gen was wrong. The idea that we should pretend nothing happened because we "know" what is going to happen is ignorant of both the past and present.

That's not to say that any given solution is wrong. If we end up deciding to keep Necturna as it has been, then so be it. But what we decide should be based on the facts, not a theory which is as likely to be wrong as not.
anyone who thought shit like pokemon z was coming is part of the problem lol. There's a general timeline followed. After Lets go pikachu, everyone and their dad knew that gen 8 was coming out the next year and by god it really did. On the record the DPP remakes gonna come out next november and all the mons are gonna be in the game. Aside from that though, extrapolation can be an issue, and if we really wanna sit here and make a whole new set for 1 year on top of all the other shit we gotta do we can. Sidenote, in the updates for each new game, would we update both necturna movesets? There's a lot more questions there than "hey guys just fix it." So IMO, we just take the easier path, since so much is already happening. Can't we just also literally update the necturna clause for a year that we literally already have for our weird pokemon lol
 

Bughouse

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Given we've previously had a Necturna clause, I think an updated Necturna clause is totally fine.
If a mutually exclusive event for literally every move is distasteful, just make it 5ish events for the actually prominent uses of Sketch. I recognize this may be difficult to tell given new moves were also added in SS (maybe Necturna would use Clangorous Soul or No Retreat, for example, though I don't imagine so over Shell Smash but who knows...)

I get the desire to just let it be and say oh well Necturna now just is "conceptless" and it had a good run BW-SM. But I think this is unnecessarily defeatist when it's literally the only CAP being left this way. There've only been a few CAPs that have had their concepts so narrowly defined to quite literally be around one single predetermined element. And of these, only Necturna is now screwed over by the Dexit. Equilibra, Pajantom, Kerfluffle, and Cawmodore, have all survived and I think it'd be a shame to just ditch Necturna's nifty concept. We've already fixed it once before, why not again?

I'd also note that technically Crucibelle did not have its "concept" negated. Crucibelle's concept was about its underused typing. It was a PR decision that CAP would make a Mega Evolution.
 

LucarioOfLegends

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I'd also note that technically Crucibelle did not have its "concept" negated. Crucibelle's concept was about its underused typing. It was a PR decision that CAP would make a Mega Evolution.
Apologies since I was not yet active in CAP during that process, but I think it is fair to say that the PRC decision for Mega was a preliminary to the idea that we now know as frameworks (in CAP 25), and from what I have read of the process Mega had a gigantic effect on Crucibelle's creation. Sure by technicality "underused type" was its concept as voted in the first part of the process, but I would argue that this concept is eclipsed by the addition of a Mega Evolution on a CAP. I think it is more accurate to say the Mega Evolution was Crucibelle's main "identity", and while a concept can be its identity the two are not naturally synonymous. Necturna in this case is losing its identity, which in this case is Sketch once, and it regardless bears very similar semblance to Crucibelle as it also lost its Mega Evolution, and hence its main identity, on the generational change.

With that out of the way, I would like to say that I have been torn on the subject of Necturna. I was originally for the replacement with a custom move, but this clashes with CAP's very distinct modern policy of trying to remove custom elements and use its provided toolbox over creating custom elements. After a while I think the conclusion I came to is just to leave Sketch off of it, and to compensate it with some of its commonly used Sketch tools, via way of event perhaps.

If this were to happen to our main set of signature-move centric concepts, Pajantom and Equilibra, there is very little we could do to address it since those moves would be completely out of the game, and hence no longer in Game Freak's toolbox. Sure we could have given them Anchor Shot and Future Sight respectively, but that not only means they no longer have STAB on the move, but also would have destroyed a part of the process that we did not expect to lose at the time of creation. In those scenarios we could have created a custom move for each, but that does not mesh with our beliefs on custom elements. Pajantom and Equilibra got extremely lucky with their respective moves, but that luck will not always be the case.

As such, for Necturna at least, I think it is important we keep Sketch off of it. Necturna clause was already pushing it in terms of custom elements as that was what essentially allowed its concept to work (as the concept was selected when Relearner was much more restricted in what it could remember). Any more custom stuff then Necturna clause would probably be controversial in our community and would open the flood gates for similar incidents in future games / generations. If Sketch returns in future games, great! We can put Sketch back on it, re-add Necturna Clause, and have a merry old time. But for now the move is dead, and it is showing no signs so far of reviving itself in the future at the moment.

I also think that this should be policy going forward for future generations. For any move that is the main focus of a concept, but gets cut in a future game, we should not add a custom element to replace it and instead use already present moves to compensate to the best of our ability.
 

SHSP

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With that out of the way, I would like to say that I have been torn on the subject of Necturna. I was originally for the replacement with a custom move, but this clashes with CAP's very distinct modern policy of trying to remove custom elements and use its provided toolbox over creating custom elements. After a while I think the conclusion I came to is just to leave Sketch off of it, and to compensate it with some of its commonly used Sketch tools, via way of event perhaps.

If this were to happen to our main set of signature-move centric concepts, Pajantom and Equilibra, there is very little we could do to address it since those moves would be completely out of the game, and hence no longer in Game Freak's toolbox. Sure we could have given them Anchor Shot and Future Sight respectively, but that not only means they no longer have STAB on the move, but also would have destroyed a part of the process that we did not expect to lose at the time of creation. In those scenarios we could have created a custom move for each, but that does not mesh with our beliefs on custom elements. Pajantom and Equilibra got extremely lucky with their respective moves, but that luck will not always be the case.

As such, for Necturna at least, I think it is important we keep Sketch off of it. Necturna clause was already pushing it in terms of custom elements as that was what essentially allowed its concept to work (as the concept was selected when Relearner was much more restricted in what it could remember). Any more custom stuff then Necturna clause would probably be controversial in our community and would open the flood gates for similar incidents in future games / generations. If Sketch returns in future games, great! We can put Sketch back on it, re-add Necturna Clause, and have a merry old time. But for now the move is dead, and it is showing no signs so far of reviving itself in the future at the moment.

I also think that this should be policy going forward for future generations. For any move that is the main focus of a concept, but gets cut in a future game, we should not add a custom element to replace it and instead use already present moves to compensate to the best of our ability.
Have a second to put together a post on this, and I'm pretty much in lockstep with Luke's post here. Gen 8 sets a dangerous precedent with move removals in particular, effectively risking that the majority of CAPs could lose some very important aspect of their creation and/or relevance in the metagame in any given transition. None are quite as severe as Nect here, but a similar instance is in Caribolt losing Return, a move that wasn't exactly mandated for it but was a big factor in its process and how it actually played in the metagame. It seems like our best option here to live in the present metagame, rely maybe a bit more on updates in cases like this to sort of repair the damage of losing the move, and to adjust accordingly with the ebb and flow of new generations shifting.

As for Necturna itself, I agree with the idea of adding some sort of event replacements- but what specifically is a question that needs to wait until we decide on a direction first. This feels a little like the canary in a coal mine: a litmus test of sorts for what direction CAP wants to go in not only now but in the future. It's my opinion we have to assume that every future gen is going to be a similar transition from 7->8, risking moves as well as Pokemon, so what we do in the early stages of this one- especially here with what's likely the biggest challenge we're going to face with transitions of this sort- can matter a lot as precedent.
 

reachzero

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I'll start with my conclusion, we should let Sketch go, and not replace it.

My first question is this: is Necturna worth saving? Necturna has proven to be a perennial problem child, and will only be more so as more and more moves are created. I'm not saying that I know Clangorous Soul or Octolock Necturna would be a problem, or any specific move. What I do know is that Necturna surprises us a lot, and that I'd rather not move heaven and Earth to save it, then end up nerfing it again.

Second, this brings us a big-picture question: are we responsible to protect CAPs to a greater extent than GameFreak protects actual Pokemon? Necturna is not in a worse position than, say, Smeargle, so the question is whether we *must* maintain each CAP to preserve what it does, even when GameFreak does not. As I have already mentioned, I would rather not deal with Necturna specifically, but this could of course come up with any number of an other CAPs in the future (Cawmodore losing Belly Drum in a future game would be the most similar comparison). Since we are not interested in keeping every CAP competitively relevant and because adding new things tends to have unexpected consequences moving forward, I'd rather simply have Sketch remain unusable, and go through Necturna's update as if it could still return at some point in the future.

Finally, there is only one example in Generation 8 of a Pokemon receiving a new game element to replace a removed one: Clangorous Soul replacing Clangorous Blaze on Kommo-o. While in fairness this is a pretty good comparison to Necturna losing Sketch (though Kommo-o is much more viable without Clangorous Soul than Necturna would be without a Sketch replacement), I don't think CAP as a project really needs to work as hard as that to save any individual CAP, considering that every CAP by virtue of still being around is already better off than, say, Greninja.
 
I'll start with my conclusion, we should let Sketch go, and not replace it.

My first question is this: is Necturna worth saving? Necturna has proven to be a perennial problem child, and will only be more so as more and more moves are created. I'm not saying that I know Clangorous Soul or Octolock Necturna would be a problem, or any specific move. What I do know is that Necturna surprises us a lot, and that I'd rather not move heaven and Earth to save it, then end up nerfing it again.
I just wanna quickly address the first question because I believe that is the question that I feel cap needs to fully address to be able to really know what should be done with Necturna, and I'd like other people to reply to this question as well. I do not see the point in moving heaven and earth as you say it, just to have it functioning in the new gen. I think the cawmodore situation you brought up could be an issue in the future, but I never see anything that specific ever happening. I would rather us leave necturna as it is, and hold onto our own integrity. After all, these are what we do, and as we have in the past, the process takes first precedent. We should hold Necturna's concept and identity intact by leaving it alone. I'd recommend updating the Necturna clause to something to allow it do what it was intended to do. Of course, if everyone really sees the need to fix it to be competitively viable within the limits game freak has sent, thats what we should do. However, it is important to know we've done plenty of things in opposition to GF before. We've added comatose to one pokemon, and almost added misty surge to another pokemon, when both of these abilities were thought to be exclusive(one of which still is). A very good questions on reach's part.
 

LucarioOfLegends

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After a bit of time to think about it, I'm actually more in agreement with reach.

I think he makes a very solid point on why we really shouldn't do it (aside from the Necturna is a difficult mon to maintain concept wise). It is totally true we have generally discarded the notion of keeping competitively relevant, and the 'compensation' I proposed could be scene as a way of keeping it relevant. We really don't intentionally "buff" mons, and I can see how the compensation for losing its main focus of concept can be seen as buffing it. We aren't as far as I know doing anything to compensate Crucibelle for its loss of Mega Evolution, which I will still argue as its main identity, so why should we do something for a different mon that also lost its identity.

Its probably the mention of Clangorous Soul that I think convinces me, as it adequately squashes the argument of "not compensating mons is lazy on our part" simply because we did not get hardly any replacements. Dexit as a whole has been a very weird shift for the meta, and it is likely 100% correct that moves heavily associated to concepts of old will be cut in the future, so having to go through a process each generation with mons that have lost their concept seems like it would be a constant pain.

We have no obligation to actually compensate our mons with new tools (unless they relate to Updates) due to a lost move and could be seen as many as a way of buffing them again. I am now more in the camp of cutting it and leaving Nect otherwise intact (aside from changes from Updates).
 

Birkal

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I am in full agreement with reachzero and LucarioOfLegends. Necturna holds a special place in my heart for two reasons: it was the first full CAP process I participated in, and second was that I find its concept to be the best one in CAP history. But with all of that history, I cannot recommend saving it or any other particular Pokemon from how GameFreak intends and molds their current generation. Necturna will still find usability, but it is not our responsibility to carry over its now-custom mechanics into Gen8. Sketch is gone, so Necturna should no longer have access to it.

To further the point, I have seen some discussing of giving Necturna some zany moves to compensate. I also disagree with this logic for the following reason: zany moves is not Necturna's original concept. When Korski wrote its concept back in CAP12, it was to explore Sketch, its relationship with Smeargle, its relationship with typing and STAB, and the teambuilding aspect of what it takes to build a Pokemon that wants to Sketch a lot of moves. None of those concepts will come to light on a Necturna that doesn't have Sketch. Giving it a few moves out of left-field is an entirely different concept that I think actively harm's Necturna's identity.

As a final concession, I would ultimately leave this up to an Update Leader. I think if a UL would like to include a single wacky move, it could be acceptable. That might be a great way to tell new users that Necturna used to get every move! But that really should be for that person to decide with the community when we get to that bridge. Overall, I believe it is CAP's policy to not implement new mechanics to save old ones.

If you have any objections or comments, please make them known here. Otherwise, I'm going to move forward with the policy that Necturna will not get Sketch, and that any sort of omissions by GameFreak in the future will face a similar treatment unless deemed otherwise.
 
I've just got a quick question and Ik the thread is closing so if you feel the need to not address it here and just DM me on discord thats fine(birkal). What do we plan to do if Necturna is unable to fill a position? We nerfed it because of the amassed power it had with a combination of z moves and then its shell smash. We have this nerf mechanism but because we were acting in the moment in trying to fix our metagame we did not have the foresight to realize that z moves would then leave. Will it be perpetually bad, and should we have a mechanism to rebuff it? Just some thoughts that were pointed out to me and I felt necessary to bring up, and since the thread was still open I put it here. Necturna might be in a rough spot because of our nerfing mechanism for a metagame that no longer matters. Not to mention the short sightedness of the Necturna nerf by basing it on a gen to gen mechanic. And for the record, I still think we could just modify the necturna clause instead of having it in the processes hands, but if someone wants to lead it let them go ahead and lead it.
 

Deck Knight

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My only commentary on this is that as far as being cautious with Necturna's natural movepool, we learned that the hard way last Gen. That said, in the absence of Sketch I think we can treat Necturna more reasonably like comparably typed / designed Pokemon, and make tasteful updates that don't go over the top. We can keep Sketch moves in the back of our head (Shell Smash, primarily), but otherwise I think the UL for Necturna will know the score and act accordingly.
 

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